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Samsung Galaxy Note II Review

Samsung GALAXY Note II

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.


Call quality:

Samsung Galaxy Note II Review
We enjoyed a very good call quality on the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The earpiece emits strong volume, to the extent that we had to tone it down halfway, so it didn’t blast our eardrum, and the voices sounded clean as a whistle.

On the other end they could hear us very well, too, with the sound having more than enough volume, and the dual microphone noise-cancelling setup relayed our voices loud and clear, with no audible distortions. It still feels dorky to talk with such a large slab, but as far as call quality goes, you are covered.


Armed with a beefy 3,100mAh battery, the Galaxy Note II makes way only to the 3, 300mAh one in the MAXX and MAXX HD phones of Motorola, but here the unit is easily removable and replaceable.

There are no official talk times yet from Samsung, but we made one very unscientific test to check how the Note II stacks up against the Note and the Galaxy S III during the HD Super AMOLED’s most frugal consumption times - video playback. We charged all three phones to 100%, put them in airplane mode, pumped up the brightness to the max, and ran the same HD video for an hour. At the end the Note showed 83%, the Galaxy S III showed 87%, while the Note II’s monster battery discharged only 8%, bringing it down to 92%. If we can extrapolate from that, the Note II might very well reach the RAZR MAXX’s 14-hour video playback at half brightness with this battery.


If the Galaxy Note II has attracted your attention in the first place, that means you know the downsides that come with its size, and are willing to sacrifice pocket comfort and one-handed operation for its sweet screen real estate, so the size can’t really be held against it.

It is not that much more compact, compared to the original, and it could hardly be, considering we have an even larger display now. That screen alone, however, is worth the upgrade - it is the best phone screen Samsung has ever produced, and addresses all weak points of Super AMOLED displays so far in one fell swoop.

The 24% increase in battery size alone is worth the upgrade, too, as it brings top-notch endurance to the handset, and the juicer is on top of that replaceable.

Or, if you are buying a Note for the fact that it sports a stylus silo, you’d be happy to hear that the S Pen is much improved now - easier to handle, with a more natural ink flow, and a number of handy new features like Air View and Pop Up Note.

These three in aggregate make the Note II worth it both for those that are upgrading from the original, and for first time buyers. When we throw in the very good pictures and video capture, the excellent loudspeaker, the good call quality, and the expandable memory, that subpar audio capture when recording video becomes just a small fly in a big bucket of honey. While we are at the sweet tooth metaphors - you get the latest Android Jelly Bean, too.

There is not much competition to go around in the gargantuan screen category, but the LG Intuition and the first Note, of course. The advantages before the original Note are apparent, as far as money is not a problem, since the Note II will come more expensive. Regarding the LG Intuition, its stylus is an extra you have to carry with you, it is stuck with Android ICS for now, and the squarish form factor makes it even more unwieldy to handle than the Note II.

Software version: JRO03C.N7100XXALI5


  • Best HD Super AMOLED screen from Samsung to date
  • Significantly improved S Pen ergonomics and performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Powerful quad-core processor
  • Very good photos and video
  • Stellar call quality
  • Strong, clean loudspeaker


  • Subpar sound recording with video footage
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Samsung GALAXY Note II

Samsung GALAXY Note II

OS: Android 4.4.2 4.3 4.1.2 4.1.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.5 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (265 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera8 megapixels
Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1600 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
Size5.94 x 3.17 x 0.37 inches
(151 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm)
6.44 oz  (182 g)
Battery3100 mAh, 35 hours talk time

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